Paint Stick Refrigerator Magnets

Christmas Craft Project – Paint Stick Magnets

Update – Don’t want to fuss with making these yourself?  I’ll make them for you!  Buy today at my Etsy shop!

We recently had a family Christmas get together with my mom and her boyfriend Harry’s family.  It was a ton of fun, and I had a chance to try out a craft idea I came across and pinned awhile back.

The original pin I found showed how to make Christmas tree ornaments out of painter’s sticks.  I  dug some more and found an idea to make refrigerator magnets out of painter’s stir sticks.  I married the two ideas and made personalized fridge magnets for the family.

I am guilty of giving my kids names that sometimes don’t find their way on the ready-to-buy personalized items.  Try finding a bike license plate with “Aerik” on it – impossible.  I thought that it would be neat for each kid to have a magnet to hang their art work or school papers on the fridge.

First I had to find the right paint sticks.  Being married to a painter has advantages.  I first tried Lowes, but they wont give you a stick if you don’t buy paint.  Wow, stingy much?  I then went to the Sherwin Williams store where my hubby buys his paint and they gave me an armful of the 5 gallon paint sticks.  Those were PERFECT!

Here’s the in-progress product – the ModPodge is a little wet in this one:

Paint Stick Refrigerator Magnets

Here are the steps:

1) Cut the sticks down to length.  I went with 5″ lengths and got 3 out of each full stick.  The 5 gallon paint sticks are pretty long.

2) Get a piece of light grit sand paper, I think I used 80, and take off the sharp edges and corners.  These are pretty soft wood so they sand up nicely and pretty fast.

3) Dust off the pieces with a tack cloth – just a damp rag works well.  Let them dry well

4) Place 2 full sticks parallel on your work surface about 2″ apart – you’ll rest your painted pieces on these to keep them from resting on paper and peeling the paint apart after it dries.

5) I painted all 4 sides and one flat side and let them dry completely, then i turned them over and painted the other flat side and let them dry.  I bought a small sample of the Valspar paint at Lowes, it’s just a little 8oz container that was about $2.50.  Pick your own color 🙂  I used 1″ foam brushes, they worked great for the paint and the ModPodge

6) While the paint is drying, start working on the names.  First set the left & right margins in a Word doc to 1.8″  This leaves about 5″ in the middle, which is the width of my sticks.  I printed out the names on a white piece of paper and made sure the letters all fit on a scrap piece of stick as far as height goes.  My sticks used DK Clair de Lune in a 70 size font.  A few of the names were longer so I had to decrease the font size so they’d fit.

7) Once you have the letters the right height and width, you can print them out on colored stationary or scrapbook paper.  I bought some stationary at Walmart taht worked nicely.  I made sure the first name printed about 1.5″ from the top so the butterflies didnt show on a boy’s stick.  Oh the horror…..

8) Cut out the names.  I did the tops of the names straight, and kind of went around the letters at the bottom of the page for a different look.  This makes names with “g” and “y” not look weird and off center.

9) Once the paint is COMPLETELY dry, get out your ModPodge and put a thin coat on the flat side of the stick.  Place the cutout name on the ModPodge and gently brush another coat over the top.  Repeat with all of the sticks and let dry completely.  Some looked like the paper wasn’t stuck all the way down, so I hit them with another coat of ModPodge.

10) I bought a roll of peel and stick magnet.  I was worried that the peel and stick wouldn’t work, so I added some P6000, that was a mistake.  The first 2 I did without the extra adhesive worked great, the others peeled up a tiny bit.  Use what you want as far as sticking the magnet on.  You could also hot glue on some round magnets.  I like mine strong so they stick well.

Here’s the finished product!  I think they turned out really well and they were super easy.  Overall they took less than an hour, the time investment is just waiting for paint and ModPodge to dry.

Paint Stick Refrigerator Magnets

Note: If you want to do tree ornaments – drill small holes in the top 2 corners before you paint – then thread in a piece of wire about 2x the length of your stick and twist a little knot in each end to hold it.